The return of Pink Floyd helped herald the opening of one of Salt Lake City’s newest multi-use art galleries. Pink Floyd is the iconic pink flamingo that around 2004 escaped from an aviary and made his home at Great Salt Lake. For a number of months several attempts were made to organize an intervention and bring other pink flamingos to join Mr. Floyd, but respected biologists and ornithologists advised against making the intervention and enthusiasm for the project waned. Pink Floyd was lost to the city but reappears in the mural by Philadelphia-based artist Phillip Adams on the south-facing back wall of The Shop.
Located at 350 East 400 South, where Salt Lake Coffee Roasters made its home for many years, The Shop opened in April and offers 30,000 square feet that works full-time as a mixed-use coworking space for members and their guests, and part-time as an art gallery when, by appointment, or for Gallery Stroll events, the space is open for art lovers.
The Shop is the first carbon neutral space with a rooftop in downtown Salt Lake City and wants to be known for its hospitality, unique art-centric coworking space and the featured artwork. Nice touch; making a seamless transition from working space to art space. As one of The Shop’s taglines notes: “Creativity Connected.”
Anne Olsen, the Community Manager for the space, says, “The Shop is a space that was built and curated for Salt Lake City. From local vintage pieces to commissioned works, we focused on creating a space that inspires our members day to day while facilitating productivity for the urban Utahn.”
To help its members with the creative impulses needed when using the working spaces, The Shop invested in more than 20 local artists and artisans and features their work on a rotating basis. The Shop hosted its first art gallery event — featuring their featured artists — during Gallery Stroll, on Friday, July 16.
All the artists are from or based in Utah – or both. Sheldon Harvey, a Native American Navajo artist living in Arizona, is the only exception (though the reservation does extend into Utah, so ….). The artists are diverse, ranging across ages, ethnic backgrounds, genders, formal training, years of practice and artistic mediums. All of the artists have had work (permanent or shows) in museum/gallery/private collections in Utah, around the country and the world. Many have won awards and been published frequently. “The Collection features conceptual rather than decorative work,” Olsen says. “Themes explored are: collisions between nature and people, Navajo creation myths, ancient traditions, Manifest Destiny, intersection of nature and culture, Western landscape and the sublime, Urban mythologies, architecture and landscape as the nexus of form, symbolic narratives, climatic change, human activity and geology, idealized visions of modern/urban landscapes and idealized space.”
The Shop’s principal desire is that each piece incites curiosity for the viewer. “Without knowing any of the narrative or background – you’d want to get closer, wander in – or down the hall – and take a look,” Olsen says. “Each individual can attribute their own narrative in the process.”
The Shop’s investment in the local art community comes at a time when many artists are struggling.
The eight story building in which The Shop is located also houses the MYA (apartments), and is shaped like a stacked Chinese Box (each inner box opening more outward to the south) and on the south projecting faces of these stacked boxes is the recently completed mural: The Return of Pink Floyd by Philip Adams.
The developers of the project, which includes living spaces, is Domain Companies, who partnered with Giv Group to bring SLC this unique building and atmosphere. CEO of Domain, Matt Schwartz notes: “Domain is committed to supporting the arts in the Salt Lake community. Part of that commitment includes working with local artists and artisans wherever possible, from unique interior and exterior artwork to furnishings and finishes. Our support for the arts extends beyond the development itself, as our MyDomain community engagement program includes a strong emphasis on the arts. That support includes events at The Shop to highlight arts organizations, team members serving on boards and committees of local arts groups, and support for arts-related non-profit organizations.”
Not only does The Shop blend work space and art space, it has extended a connection to the past serving as its house drip coffee the SL Roasting Company house blend. Another nice touch.
The list of local artists on display includes: Lenka Konopasek, Daniel Everette, Jiyoun Lee-Lodge, Adam Bateman, Josh Winegar, Shalee Cooper, Heather Stamenov, Cara Despain, Mikel Covey, Chris Baczek, Skyler Simpson, Sheldon Harvey, Tom Judd, Nolan Flynn, Dave Malone, Levi Jackson, Fidalis Buehler, Ellen Macomber, Mitch Mantel, Matthew Sketch, Jorge Rojas, and Pia van Nuland.
J. Michael Redd is a polymath, fluent in the sciences and the arts. He has over twenty years experience as a technical, business and creative writer with an above-average ability to make that which is complex, simple.